Experience Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck creator’s life at Circus Circus

The Chuck Jones Experience — an attraction and retail space dedicated to the man who created some of the most famous cartoon characters, ever — is scheduled to open at Circus Circus today at 11 a.m.

Jones, who died in 2002, was the creator of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Yosemite Sam, the Tasmanian Devil and a variety of other Looney Tunes and Merrie Melody characters. Hundreds of his original drawings and paintings will be displayed in the 10,000-square-foot attraction. Interactive displays also will enable visitors to do a variety of activities, from drawing cartoons to recording their own sound effects.

The Chuck Jones Experience, which was three years in the making, will fit in well with the overall renovations that the property is undergoing, said Jackie Zlatanovski, vice president of marketing for Circus Circus. And it will help introduce a whole new audience to Circus Circus, because Jones’ work is known throughout the world.

"It’s a great fit for us just because the attraction as a whole appeals to all ages," she said. "Basically, we are fun for all ages."

The exterior of the attraction is designed to make visitors feel as though they have stumbled into the Acme warehouse, the fictional warehouse where Wile E. Coyote bought all the anvils and dynamite to try to kill The Road Runner. There are giant spinning tops, a box of fireworks with sound effects and other touches that help immerse guests into Jones’ cartoon world, his grandson, Craig Kausen said.

A screening room, featuring a 120-inch screen, will continuously show cartoons from Jones’ catalog: "The Rabbit of Seville," "Feed the Kitty" and others.

There is a room designed to give visitors an idea of what the animator’s office was like, with his wood desk, office chair and other items. Several bookshelves display only a small fraction of the books he owned, said his daughter, Linda Jones Clough.

"When I was growing up, we had between 3,000 and 5,000 in the house," Jones Clough said. "One of my favorite games as a child was picking out a book, telling him the title and he would give the first sentence from it."

They spent time in the bookstore like families spend it in McDonald’s, Jones Clough recalled. The bookstore was a frequent destination where father and daughter would spend hours poring over inventory.

He loved books, she said. Once, after reading "Alice in Wonderland," he went to the library and asked the librarian for "more books on Alices." He took home a stack of books featuring characters or subjects named Alice. He was consumed with knowledge and acquiring it.

"We want this experience to teach people that it’s OK to have a voracious need to know," Jones Clough said.

The Chuck Jones Experience also will be home to the largest collection of original Chuck Jones animation and fine art in the world, with more than 250 pieces on permanent display.

The attraction will be an animation lover’s dream, featuring letters Jones received from Walt Disney and even a telegram from Mickey Mouse. But it’s about more than his animation career, which spanned 70 years, Jones Clough said.

"There’s a whole other side of Chuck Jones: his intellect, his teaching experience, his fine art, his family. This encompasses the whole man and not just his cartoon career."

Admission to the Chuck Jones Experience is $19.95; locals pay $14.95. Hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Sunday, including holidays. The last admission is sold at 9 p.m. For more information, visit chuckjonesexperience.com.

Contact reporter Sonya Padgett at spadgett@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4564. Follow @StripSonya on Twitter.

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